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Old November 12th, 2003, 06:15 PM   #1
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Help my raid-0 is dropping frames!

I have a 120 gig S-ATA drive for my OS and two 120 S-ATA drives configured in a Raid-0 dedicated for video capture. I finally get around tonight to capture some footage with this set up and all I get were dropped frames! I change the capture drive to my primary OS hardrive and it captures fine. The only thing I can think of is the chunk size- when building the aray I chose 128k chunks which was labled as "performance". Could that be the problem?
I even went to Asus's website to update my Promise controlers drivers- still didn't make a difference. Anyone have any ideas?!

My system:
-Asus P4C800-E Delux
-P4 3.0 ghz
-1ghz Corsair PC3200 ram
-3 Maxtor Diamondmax Plus 9 120gig drives (1 for os, the other 2 in Raid-0 for video storage)
-Windows XP sp1
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Old November 12th, 2003, 08:42 PM   #2
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Try measuring drive speed with something like the Canopus RexTest program. I believe it is still free on their Web site and it gives a fairly good picture of drive speed.

If the speed is down in the yellow area of their measurement curve, then you should probably check and see if DMA is on for those drives.

I personally do not like the Promise product and have always found that the software RAID array supported by NT/2000/XP was more than fast enough.

Unfortunately, you've used one of the channels of the non-RAID SATA controller for your C drive so you couldn't test the software RAID without major changes to your setup.

I've not experimented with the Promise controller to see if it would support a single drive without the RAID. If it will, you might try that and see what happens.

I have a Seagate 120 gig SATA on one of the normal SATA channels and it is more than fast enough (same motherboard)
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Old November 12th, 2003, 09:00 PM   #3
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Most of the time it's not the drive but a problem with the system resources.

Disconnect all but essential periferals and try the capture. If it works then reinstall them one at a time. Hell, I captured on an old 5400 RPM drive with an athalon 1.6 with no problem, I did find that my HP multi function was hogging the system resources. It's USB, so now I just unplug my usb goodies during capture.

I suppose you could also use two separate hardware profiles.

Seriously, I haven't had a dropped frame since i started to pull the USB. Now I've upgraded to 360 gig of 7200 RPM WD's and a pentium 2.4 with 1 gig ram.

I think we get carried away with the speed thing. You loose a drive using raid and you're screwed. At least with a single drive you have a chance.
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Old November 12th, 2003, 09:17 PM   #4
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Mike, mike, mike- maybe you can help me! Ok you know how our board has 4 SATA inputs SATA1, SATA2, and SATA RAID1, SATA RAID2. Well obviously I have it configured as such:
-OS Drive on SATA1 port
-Raid on SATA RAID 1 & 2 ports

Now if I decide to ditch the whole raid thing all together is there a way I can connect the other two drives separately without a raid?
See I deleted the Raid via the FastBuild utility then when in windows tried to use Partition Magic to format and partition the two drives separately. No dice. It didn't list them. So I went into bios under IDE Configuration and disabled "Configure SATA as Raid"...that didn't work either. I kept going back and tried different combinations- even disabled my promise raid controller...still Partition Magic didn't see the two drives.

I gave up and rebuilt the Raid from scratch- go into windows and BAM Partition magic sees the "logical" drive (raid). I partition it and format it- try capturing again- SAME PROBLEM.

Ok let me try to organize my thoughts into coherent questions:

1 DO YOU know if there is a way to connect 3 SATA drives without using raid? I know I could move the one to the other SATA port but the 3rd would have to be on one of the SATA_RAID ports....in which I was unable to get Partition Magic to recognize the drive. Are those two ports "ONLY" for RAIDs?! Hopefully not.

2 After I updated my Promise Raid controller drivers device manager is now displaying two objects under "SCSI and RAID controllers"
Now both:
-Win XP Romise FastTrack 378 (tm) Controller
and -WinXP Promise RAID Console SCSI Processor Device
Probably has no signifigance but I figured I'd make mention of it.

Any and all input will greatly be appreciated.
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Old November 12th, 2003, 10:13 PM   #5
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Oops! I just did what I hate other people doing, I didn't read the whole post. I hang my head in shame.

All I could remember was the wasted hour troubleshooting my setup and then finding that dumb resource problem.

Sorry 'bout that.
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Old November 12th, 2003, 11:09 PM   #6
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Can you get SATA to IDE adapters? I know you can get the other way round. Maybe do that. SATA at current speeds isn't really *that* much faster than IDE is it? Then RAID them using XP's dynamic disk option.

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Old November 13th, 2003, 05:29 AM   #7
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At this point I could care less if I'm running a Raid or not. Problem is I don't know how to configure 3 separate SATA drives on this board. I suspect it can only handle 2 SATA drives and the other 2 ports are strictly for SATA RAID. I wish Asus had a support forum.
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Old November 13th, 2003, 01:55 PM   #8
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First I'd look for an adapter to allow one of the SATA drives to function on an IDE channel. I think those exist.

I do not believe the Asus will ever run out of resources. I run the gigabit LAN, 5 USB ports, a serial port and capture without any problems even to a logical partition of the physical drive that is also partitioned into my C drive. This board is very very fast with the magic Intel controller that few other boards have. I believe it was designed for server apps and it really screams. It and the Intel Lan adapter is the difference between the Deluxe and non-deluxe board.

The SCSI ID is normal with the Promise. My old Promise from 6 years ago did that.

You might contact Promise and ask them if you can split the controller or just try running with one drive and see what it does. Cannot hurt anything I think.
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Old November 13th, 2003, 05:05 PM   #9
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I contacted Asus today- the guy told me I can run non-raid drives on the "SATA RAID" 1 & 2 ports. I would have to first:
-Delete the Raid through the Fastbuild utility (ctrl+f during boot)
-Then remove one drive from the SATA RAID ports
-Go back through the Fastbuild and go to create an array (even though there is only one drive there) It'll set it up as a single drive "array" ...if that makes any sense
-Then connect the second one and do the same. That way allowing those two ports to be used as standard non-Raid SATAs.

I'm assuming I have to go through the Bios and change the operating mode of the Promise controler from "Raid" to "IDE". What do you think?
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Old November 13th, 2003, 05:55 PM   #10
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It is good news that the ports can also be used in a non-RAID manner.

I would assume, without ever having played with the Promise software, that it is already in the proper mode. As far as it is concerned, you are merely operating a set of one-disk arrays.
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Old November 13th, 2003, 09:59 PM   #11
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Welp- UPDATE........STILL drops frames like crazy. Even when not in a Raid. I don't understand it- mabye it's the Promise controler that is bound to those ports. Maybe there is something I didn't install. Did you install the "application accelerator"- what is it?
Lastly maybe it's my cluster size- it's set at 4k.
See I have to partion the drive using Powerquest Partition Magic and I chose default cluster size- though maybe it's a stretch. UGH! Back to the drawing board!
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Old November 13th, 2003, 10:17 PM   #12
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No I did not install the app accel from Intel. I was warned to stay away from it.

I use the default cluster size.

There is something more fundamentally wrong.

What happens when you put one of the drives on the other non-RAID port? If it captures OK, then Promise is probably the culprit.
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Old November 14th, 2003, 08:32 AM   #13
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That is what I'm going to try today. Problem is if I do this setup all well and good but I still have a 120 gig drive not being used. I want to utilize all 3.
I called Asus again this morning and they said to:
-update the bios as it might update the firmware of the Promise controler
-make sure there isn't a card in PCI slot 3. It would share an IRQ with the Promise adapter which may cause a problem

I'm only using one PCI card, for my Audigy 2. I have to go home and check. Hopefully it's as simple as moving the sound card to a different PCI slot freeing up the IRQ for the Promise controller. Though...knowing my luck with computer problems it's NEVER that simple. lol
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Old November 14th, 2003, 11:52 AM   #14
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Just disable the Audigy in the system manager. I believe that sound system has caused problems for people in the past.

I tried to install the Herc card in the computer and had no luck. It did cause problems although I had it in slot 5.

I reverted to the on-board sound setup and it works very well.
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Old November 21st, 2003, 05:44 AM   #15
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UPDATE!

Mike, I just wanted you to know I found a solution to the dropping frames to my drive on the promise controler. I captured using the firewire on my Audigy 2 and I didn't drop a single frame. So it's gotta be something not jiving between my onbaord IEEE and Raid Controler.
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